Activated Carbon for Treatment of Cadmium Wastewater

by C. P. Huang, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Delaware, Newark, Del. 19711,
P. K. Wirth, Grad. Student; Environmental Engrg. Program, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Delaware, Newark, Del. 19711,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 6, Pg. 1280-1299

Document Type: Journal Paper


The use of activated carbon for heavy metal removal was exemplified by studying the adsorption characteristics of Cd(II) from Cd(II)-BF4 plating solution on both granular and powdered activated carbons. The results indicated that at all pH values, powdered activated carbons such as Nuchar SA and Nuchar SN, exhibited greater Cd(II) removal capacity than the granular ones such as Darco HD 3000 and Filtrasorb 400. The powdered activated carbon was bound to spheres (0.6 mm-1 mm) using a suspension-polymerization technique. The adsorption capacity of the aggregated carbons was 85% - 90% of the unbound ones. The rate of Cd(II) removal at pH 7 is proportional to the cadmium concentration, the carbon dose, and the available surface sites. Used activated carbons were regenerated chemically with strong acids such as HCl, HClO4, and H2SO4. Two treatment schemes are proposed with economical analysis for comparison with other common treatment processes.

Subject Headings: Activated carbon | Cadmium | Wastewater treatment | Adsorption | Granular materials | pH | Carbon fibers | Heavy metals

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